Everyone experiences guilt. The Question is what do we do with guilt? Guilt is a result of what is broken, and grace is a result of what is whole. Discover the difference between guilt and guilty feelings, and how to respond when they come into your life.
I have a sneaking suspicion that most of us give less than we think and spend more than we realize. When you scrutinize a budget it’s amazing how the numbers sometimes tell a completely different story than you would think.
Compare the money spent at the following places any given month versus how much you give to support the work of Jesus Christ:
Restaurants, Coffee, and Soda – Tithes and Offerings = Whether or not I prioritize eating out over the House of God
Movie Theaters, Netflix, Red Box, Gamefly, DVDs/CDs – Tithes and Offerings = Whether or not I prioritize entertainment over the mission of Jesus Christ
Shoes, Shirts, Jeans, and Accessories – Tithes/Offerings = Whether or not I prioritize how I look over the kingdom of God.
Most of us would proudly quote the scripture about seeking God’s kingdom first, and all of these other things would be added to us, but I wonder if our budget would confirm this. The point of this blog isn’t that all of these “other things” are to be avoided. It’s to ask the question are these things “added” after we have sought the kingdom of God first, or are the “other things” taking priority in our lives?
Now add up the money spent at:
Restaurants, Coffee Shops, Soda’s purchased at Convenience Stores, Movie Theaters, Netflix, Redbox, Gamefly, DVDs/CDs, Shoes, Shirts, Jeans, and Accessories
Tithes and Offerings
Still think you can’t afford to give?
This information may come as disconcerting, shocking, and a little bit overwhelming to you. People generally recommend sitting down for this type of thing. I’m not for sure why. Perhaps lounging in a chair is a better way to receive this type of news. Lounging in a chair is a pretty good idea for any scenario. Anyway, this might be shocking to you, but I am not a perfect person. Please grab a nearby tissue and try to compose yourself. Aren’t you glad your lounging in a chair?
If this wasn’t shocking to you, its because we have all dealt with the reality of our imperfection. However, it isn’t the general idea that I am imperfect that I am to accept. Paul recommended that we examine ourselves:
Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. (2 Corinthians 13:5 NLT)
I wonder how many things in my life could be better if I took time to spiritually examine myself to see if my faith was genuine. God has rich, abundant, and purposed filled life (Thanks Rick Warren) for me. There are “imperfections” in me that will cause me to miss that life. Paul recommended self examination to see if there was evidence of the abundant life of Jesus Christ within me.
Here are 3 ways to look into the mirror of our lives:
1. Read the Word of God… the Bible is alive and begins to shape and reshape the thoughts and motives of our hearts and mind.
2. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. The role of the Holy Spirit is to guide us into all truth. As we examine ourselves the Holy Spirit will guide us into the person God has intended for us to be.
3. Feedback… hopefully there are a few trustworthy people in your life that can help you become aware of any roadblocks to God’s best for you. Receive instruction and be teachable.